Quebecers’ networks of friends and acquaintances dwindle with age

Québec, February 2, 2016 – In 2013, 8% of the Québec population reported having no close friends. This proportion varied widely by age, from about 2% among those aged 25 to 34 to nearly 20% among those aged 65 and over. The absence of a network of friends was linked to socio-economic characteristics. Thus, a high level of education, a high income and participation in the labour market contributed to the presence of social relationships.

Moreover, the size of networks of friends and acquaintances declined with age. While young Quebecers under the age of 25 had about 7 close friends and over 40 acquaintances, on average, persons aged 65 and over had 5 friends and fewer than 15 acquaintances.

The use of new communications technologies promotes regular contacts between friends

Nearly three quarters of the population regularly communicates with friends using text messages, email or social media. Despite the popularity of these means of communication, over 6 out of 10 people see their friends regularly. The telephone is the least popular means of communicating with friends on a regular basis. These results come from an article published today in the bulletin Données sociodémographiques en bref, based on data from Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey, 2013.

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